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S.K. Verma & Anr vs State Of Haryana And Anr on 30 August, 2018

Crl. Misc. No. M-33970 of 2017 1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH

Crl. Misc. No. M-33970 of 2017
Date of decision : 30.08.2018

Dr. S.K. Varma Anr.
…… Petitioners
versus

State of Haryana Anr.
… Respondents

CORAM:- HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE ANITA CHAUDHRY

Argued by: Mr. Deepender Singh, Advocate
for the petitioners.

Mr. Gaurav Bansal, AAG Haryana.

Respondent No.2-complainant in person with
Mr. Kanhiya Soni, Legal Aid Counsel.
***

ANITA CHAUDHRY, J.

The petitioners are seeking quashing of FIR No. 149 dated

14.02.2017, registered under Sections 323, 406, 420, 498-A read with

Section 120-B IPC at Police Station City, Hisar and the consequent

proceedings taken therein including final report filed in the case dated

29.07.2017.

The petitioners are the parents-in-law of respondent No.2.

Marriage of their son was solemnized with respondent No.2 on 05.05.2013.

This was the second marriage of the couple. Respondent No.2 moved a

complaint to the police against the parents-in-law (the petitioners), her

husband and one Uma Chaudhary. In the complaint, it was alleged that her

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parents spent more than Rs.15 lacs in the marriage. After the marriage, the

accused started raising demand of more dowry and she was maltreated on

trivial matters. A car was demanded and she was beaten by her husband on

the instigation of his parents. Her jewellery was retained by her mother-in-

law and on 24.06.2013 she was sent with her brother to her parental home.

On 12.07.2013 she returned to her matrimonial home and gave Rs.3 lacs to

her mother-in-law. Still she was ill-treated. She was taken back to her

parental home. Due to stress, her father died on 19.12.2013. The accused

refused to rehabilitate her and attempts were made for mediation but those

failed. Constrained she lodged FIR No. 738 dated 14.08.2014 against the

accused under Sections 323, 406, 498-A read with Section 34 IPC at Police

Station City Hisar. A complaint under Section 12 of Domestic Violence Act

was filed and maintenance was fixed and she was given residence rights in

the matrimonial home. The accused later misrepresented to her and on

allurement made, she withdrew the application filed under Section 12 of

D.V. Act and Section 125 Cr.P.C. and the petition filed under Section 13 of

the Hindu Marriage Act. Still there was no change in the behavior of the

accused and they started harassing her on one pretext or the other. On

25.05.2016 she was asked to bring Rs.40 lacs in lieu of her half share in the

property of her father so that a Mercedes car could be purchased. She

refused to do so, then the accused misbehaved with her and hurled abuses.

Her mother-in-law threw hot vegetable on her and she was burnt. On

05.06.2016 the petitioners incited their son to ask her for the share in the

parental property. Her father-in-law asked her to look for a rented

accomodation. Her husband, on the instigation of other accused, had beaten

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her and she was turned out of the matrimonial home on 17.08.2016. The

matter was reported to the police and a compromise had taken place and she

was taken back to the matrimonial home. On 25.08.2016 she was beaten by

her husband and mother-in-law and demand of dowry was raised and her

mobile was snatched. Her signatures were obtained on some papers and she

was left at her parental home at Hisar. It was mentioned that on the false

assurance of the accused she withdrew her cases and she was turned out of

the matrimonial house and her istridhan was retained.

On the basis of aforesaid complaint, FIR was registered and

investigated. It was pointed that investigation was complete and final report

was submitted in the Court. Vide order dated 13.09.2017 proceedings before

the trial Court were stayed.

It has been averred in the petitioner that in the first FIR the

petitioners were found innocent and their names were shown in column

No.2 of the challan. The trial against their son had culminated into his

acquittal. On the same set of allegations and certain exaggerated facts, this

second FIR had been lodged by the complainant. It was further averred that

the petitioners are aged persons and had nothing to do with the matrimonial

life of the couple who were staying in separate portion of the house and the

allegations against them are vague, false and were made just to rope them.

In the reply filed by the State, it was admitted that the petitioner

had got a FIR registered earlier also, but it was claimed that the impugned

FIR was lodged on the subsequent cause of action which arose on 25 and

26.08.2016 and during investigation cogent and consistent evidence was

collected against the petitioners and their son and challan was filed and they

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can take all the pleas before the Court below at the time of charge. It was

further averred that the cases were withdrawn by the complainant on the

assurance of accused and the compromise which had taken place earlier had

no effect on the subsequent FIR.

Respondent No.2-complainant filed her reply. The allegations

of the FIR were reiterated. It was claimed that on account of tainted

investigation, the petitioners were not challaned in the previous FIR and the

cases were withdrawn by her on the false assurance of the accused. After

withdrawal of cases, the accused again started maltreating her on one

pretext or the other and she was turned out of the matrimonial home.

Though the accused compromised the matter but did not honour it and she

was beaten on 25.08.2017 and was dropped at her parental home by the

husband on 26.08.2017 and was forced to write on some papers about her

going to Hisar of her own. It was also mentioned that she was maltreated

and beaten by the accused as she refused to accept their demand of bringing

cash of Rs.40 lacs in lieu of share from the parental home so that a new

Mercedes car could be purchased. Hot vegetable was thrown on her by the

mother-in-law while her father-in-law asked her to look for a rented

accommodation. Photographs were also annexed with the reply. It was

further averred that constrained with the conduct of the husband and his

parents, she was forced to lodge the FIR in 2014 and the second FIR is on

different cause of action. It was pleaded that her husband had filed a divorce

petition and she was cheated by the petitioners and her son.

In the rejoinder filed by the petitioners, averments made in the

petition are reiterated. It was averred that the dispute is primarily between

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the couple who could not adjust with each other and they have been

unnecessarily dragged.

I have heard learned counsel for the parties and have gone

through the paper-book carefully.

The question that arises is whether the FIR and the subsequent

report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. filed against the petitioners can be quashed

in exercise of the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

The petitioners are the parents-in-law of respondent No.2. It is

not in dispute that they are more than 80 years of age. It is also not in

dispute that it is the second FIR lodged by the complainant, the first one was

registered under Sections 323 and 498-A IPC on 14.02.2017 and the second

one was under Sections 323, 406, 520, 498-A IPC read with Section 34 IPC.

It is not disputed that in the first FIR, both the petitioners were found

innocent by the investigating agency and only the husband was challaned

and put to trial. During trial, no application under Section 319 Cr.P.C. was

filed by the complainant for the summoning of the petitioners and the

husband was acquitted as respondent No.2 did not support the prosecution

case. In the second FIR, the complainant reiterated the allegations of first

FIR and narrated certain instances pertaining from May 2016 onwards. A

perusal thereof reveals that the allegations against the petitioners were

omnibus and general in nature. No specific incidents had been given. The

case set up is that on the assurance and allurement made by the accused she

was made to withdraw the cases. They were arraigned as respondent in

Domestic Violence Act case and she had been given residence rights therein

and did not dispute that she was given a room upstairs in the house. It was

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urged that the petitioners could not be said to have given any false

assurance. They were not the party either in the criminal case or the

maintenance case and it was the husband who was facing trial and was

slapped with the responsibility of payment of maintenance to the wife.

The complainant had stated that her signatures were forcibly

taken on documents showing receipt of jewellery, but as per own showing

of complainant, in Annexure R-13 she herself had admitted that she had

taken back all the jewellery from her husband, which was gifted to her

father. In the reply in para No. 13 she admitted that after taking her

jewellery she came to Hisar on 28.05.2016 and kept it in the locker.

Otherwise also, there are no specific allegations of entrustment to the

petitioners.

The allegation against the petitioners of instigating their son to

ask the complainant to bring her share is concerned, it has come on record

that in the year 2015 she had filed a suit against her brother seeking

partition of the house left by her deceased father. The plea of the

complainant that the accused forced her to file it stands belied from the fact

that at that point of time, the relations between them were strained and she

was pursuing the case even after lodging the second FIR against the

husband and in-laws. The petitioners are more than 80 years of age cannot

be said to be beneficiary of the demand of Rs.40 lacs for purchase of

Mercedes car. The allegations in the FIR primarily revolve around the

husband and the petitioners are roped in out of frustration, being the parents

of the husband with whom the complainant failed to maintain the

matrimonial ties.

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No MLR pertaining to the incident of 25/26.05.2016 was

produced. The photographs, Annexure R-14 produced are of different dates.

It was claimed to have been taken on 25.05.2016 and 05.06.2016. No

complaint is shown to have been made either on 05.06.2016 when she

claimed that she was beaten by the accused or in respect to the incident of

25.05.2016 when petitioner No.2 allegedly threw hot food on her. She

admittedly had gone to the police station at Jalandhar on 25.05.2016 when

she was turned out of the matrimonial home in the month of August, 2016,

but she did not make any complaint about demand of dowry and

harassment. Rather she made the complaint at Hisar on 30.11.2016 after a

considerable delay. It is abundantly clear from a perusal of FIR that no

specific allegations were made against the petitioners. The allegation

against petitioner No.1 that he asked the complainant to look for a rented

accommodation does not constitute any offence. General, sweeping and

bald allegations had been made against the petitioners just to widen the net.

It cannot be forgotten that there is a tendency to rope in the relatives of the

husband in matrimonial dispute. In the considered opinion of this Court, by

mere conjectures and implications, the petitioners cannot be said to be

involved.

In the case of Geeta Mehrotra Anr. Vs. State of U.P.

Anr. 2012(4) RCR(Crl.), the Hon’ble Apex Court quashed the FIR against

the sister and brother of the husband by observing as under:-

“…It is the well settled principle laid down in cases too
numerous to mention, that if the FIR did not disclose the
commission of an offence, the court would be justified in
quashing the proceedings preventing the abuse of the
process of law. Simultaneously, the courts are expected

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to adopt a cautious approach in matters of quashing
specially in cases of matrimonial dispute whether the
FIR in fact discloses commission of an offence by the
relatives or the principal accused or the FIR prima facie
discloses a case of over-implication by involving the
entire family of the accused at the instance of the
complainant, who is out to settle her scores arising out
of the teething problem or skirmish of domestic bickering
while settling down in her new matrimonial
surrounding.”

In the case of Kans Raj Vs. State of Punjab Ors., 2000(2)

RCR (Criminal) 695 (SC), the Hon’ble Apex Court had observed that a

tendency had developed for roping all the relations in dowry cases and if it

was not discouraged, it was likely to affect the case of the prosecution even

against the real culprits.

In Anita Ors. Vs. State of Punjab, 2003(4) RCR

(Criminal) 313, when a first information report was lodged by the wife

under Sections 498-A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code against the entire

family members of the husband, this Court exercising its powers under

Section 482 Cr.P.C. had quashed the FIR and had observed that there was a

tendency to involve all the relatives of the husband when the relations

between the husband and the wife become strained.

In the case of Preeti Gupta Anr. Vs. State of Jharkhand

Anr. 2010 AIR (SC) 3363 the Hon’ble Apex Court observed that a serious

relook of the entire provisions of Section 498-A IPC was warranted by the

legislation. It was observed that exaggerated versions of the incident are

reflected in a large number of complaints and the tendency of over

implication is also reflected in a very large number of cases.

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In the case of Divya @ Babli Ors. Vs. State of Haryana,

2006(4) RCR(Crl.) 322, this Court quashed the proceedings qua sisters by

observing that there is a tendency for roping in all the relations in dowry

cases. It was further held that there is no hard and fast rule that the

proceedings cannot be quashed after the filing of the challan or after

framing of the charge.

Furthermore, in the case of State of Haryana Ors. Vs. Ch.

Bhajan Lal Ors. 1991(1) RCR (Crl.) 383 (SC), the Hon’ble Supreme

Court had observed that where the proceeding is instituted with an ulterior

motive or where the allegations made in the complaint are absurd and

improbable, the Court would be within its power to quash the complaint/

FIR.

In the considered opinion of this Court, the allegations made in

the complaint, so far as the petitioners are concerned, are absurd and

improbable and warrants interference to meet the ends of justice and prevent

the abuse of process of the Court.

In view of the discussion made above, the instant petition is

allowed. The impugned FIR and the consequent proceedings taken therein,

against the petitioners alone are quashed.

It is made clear that whatever has been said hereinabove is

without prejudice to the case against the remaining accused.

30.08.2018 (ANITA CHAUDHRY)
Jiten JUDGE
Whether speaking/ reasoned Yes/ No

Whether reportable Yes/ No

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